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Cyber Budget Cuts: How Cutting Training May Cost You More In The Long Run.

Cyber Budget Cuts: How Cutting Training May Cost You More In The Long Run.

As we start a new year, budget discussions are in the spotlight due to inflation, labor shortages, and global uncertainties. Businesses and governments are currently seeking tools to weather economic storms, and meticulously examining financial plans and practices to identify areas for cost-cutting. 


Unfortunately, one casualty in this process is all too often employee training. A common perception is that investments in preventive measures will suffice in the short term, ticking the box of compliance training is ‘good enough’  and that all training budgets are expendable.

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But over a longer timeframe, examining the effects of forgoing employee cybersecurity training during economic hardships will in fact, prove more expensive than anticipated.


Budgets Take a Hit

According to research by JumpCloud, 44% of organizations foresee cutting cybersecurity spending. The rationale is often centered on allocating funds to preventive measures and tools like enhanced email security and firewalls, leading users to the misconception that training budgets can be sacrificed without consequences. This approach, however, leaves organizations vulnerable to more significant threats.

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Cybersecurity Training Costs Versus a Data Breach

Let's lay out an equation: Consider a small business with approximately 800 employees. The average cost of a data breach globally is $4.35 million, while security awareness training for an employee ranges between $10-$60. For our calculation, let's use the industry average security front cost of $35 per employee.

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Average Training Cost: $35 x 800 = $28,000


Average Data Breach Cost: $4.35 million


Initial savings of $28,000 by cutting the training program and support budget may seem appealing, but when compared to the potential cost of a data breach, the risk becomes evident. The $28,000 would need to be spent 155 times over to cover the aftermath of a breach. Is it worth jeopardizing your organization's security for a relatively modest saving? 


But Is Cybersecurity Awareness Training Truly Effective?


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Cybersecurity awareness training plays a pivotal role in shaping employees and customers' attitudes and behaviors toward cybersecurity, actively contributing to the health and overall security posture of an organization. Let's delve into some compelling statistics and insights that underscore and support its effectiveness:


Phishing Defense: According to a study by Infosecurity Magazine, an impressive 80% of organizations reported that security awareness training had significantly reduced their staff's susceptibility to phishing attacks. This is particularly noteworthy as phishing attacks reached record highs.


Behavioral Shifts: Effective training programs have been proven to induce positive employee behavioral changes. They become more adept at discerning and handling potential threats, such as identifying phishing emails or recognizing social engineering attempts.


ROI in Security: Consider cybersecurity awareness training as an investment rather than an expense. By fostering a cyber-resilient workforce, organizations enhance their security posture and create a substantial return on investment (ROI). Let's explore how:


Informed Decision-Making: Knowledgeable employees make informed decisions regarding emails, texts, and phone calls, actively protecting sensitive data and minimizing the risk of falling victim to social engineering tactics.


Time Efficiency: A well-trained workforce maximizes the efficiency of the IT team. Proactive threat identification and reporting enable IT professionals to allocate their time and resources effectively, addressing potential threats before they escalate.


Reduced Exposure: Cybersecurity training acts as a shield, reducing the organization's exposure to breaches. This, in turn, saves costs associated with public relations efforts, investigations, and the valuable time of personnel.


Downtime Prevention: Perhaps one of the most significant cost-saving aspects is the prevention of downtime resulting from a breach. Trained employees contribute to a resilient environment, minimizing the potential fallout of a security incident.


In essence, cybersecurity awareness training is not just an expense; it's a key strategic investment that pays dividends by fortifying your organization against cyber threats. Now, let's consider the potential cost of cutting such education services as a crucial aspect of your budget.


TLDR; Yes! It's super effective!

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Training Revered as a Cost-Savings Versus a Cost

Imagine if cybersecurity training were prioritized among the critical needs and services of an organization, and treated as a genuine return on investment (ROI). An effective, funded cybersecurity awareness training program not only justifies its minimal cost but also leads to additional cost savings. Knowledgeable employees and management can identify:

  • Make informed decisions to protect sensitive data in emails, texts, and phone calls

  • Maximize the IT team's efficiency by identifying potential threats early on

  • Minimize exposure, avoiding the costs of breaches in publicity, investigations, and personnel time

  • Prevent downtime associated with a breach

  • Keeping the budget for cybersecurity awareness training can be a proactive measure to save your department, company, department or organization money in the long run.

  • Safeguarding Your Future Through Cybersecurity Training

In the realm of budget constraints, the temptation to trim cybersecurity training budgets to protect themselves looms large. However, it's essential to recognize that such cuts may expose organizations to substantial risks, particularly the hefty financial fallout of a data breach, averaging $4.35 million globally.

The efficacy and benefits of cybersecurity awareness training is not mere speculation but a proven defense against evolving threats. With an 80% reduction in internet users' susceptibility to phishing attacks, these programs drive tangible improvements in an organization's security posture.

Beyond compliance, cybersecurity training becomes a strategic investment. It empowers employees to make informed decisions, optimizes access to IT resources and networks, and actively contributes to a secure environment.

As businesses navigate budgetary challenges, the call to action is clear: reconsider before slashing cybersecurity training allocations. Prioritizing training initiatives isn't just about immediate costs; it's a savvy investment in long-term network health, security and resilience.

Cybersecurity awareness training isn't a luxury, but a strategic necessity. Prioritizing training fortifies a country' a network defenses and networks and ensures a wise investment in a secure future. Cutting training might offer short-term gains, but the potential long-term consequences make it a risky proposition.


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